The best music tends to break away from genres entirely, and if you ever needed proof, listening to a track like Different Moon’s “Second Chance” might do the trick. Different Moon is an adult contemporary act consistently flirting with pop elements in their music, and while the last couple of releases they’ve shared have leaned closer towards a mainstream sound, this most recent content sees them paying tribute to the origins of their fusion of influences. There’s a relaxed feel to every word sung to us in this single, stretching beyond city limits and taking us into the pastoral countryside for an easy ride few can resist.
There’s no pressure on the vocal track in this mix, but instead a breezy space between the verses and the instrumentation that creates contrast with the mood of the lyrics. Without utilizing too many stylistic contradictions, Different Moon circumvents a popular ‘alternative’ adult contemporary label in this performance by sticking to a basic melody structure that would fit in just as well with the old-school sounds of the 2000s as it would modern material you’d find on the FM dial today. It takes some finesse, but they deliver a throwback that isn’t too steeped in the traditions of yesterday in this song.
“Second Chance” sports a harmony that is as much a crossover as any other part of the track is, but it isn’t being propped up by anything other than the instrumental aspect of the mix. There’s no big synth part or auto-tuned vocal to level out the burst of excitement that comes barreling through the speakers in the chorus — there’s just sterling play from a string section that could support the likes of Michael Bolton, and an additional vocal charisma of the grandest variety. As sad as it is to admit, neither is as common as they used to be in the adult contemporary genre; though an act like this one finding fame in the mainstream could go a long way towards changing that.
The ascent towards the chorus is the poppiest part of “Second Chance,” and were it being propelled forth by any other voices than the ones we find here, I don’t think it would be nearly as quaking as we find it in this single. Different Moon is confident in who they are and what they want their music to represent, and for a duo that is still very much on the indie side of the equation, this is quite impressive, to put it mildly.
Different Moon isn’t looking to be the next antiestablishment band in adult contemporary music — they’re shaping a new model that doesn’t restrict their ambitions from going in any direction their talent can handle. They’ve got attitude and aren’t scared to put it to work in a song like “Second Chance,” and though I was already feeling good about the trajectory they were on in 2022, this single makes me all the more certain of their direction. Adult contemporary needs more players who don’t want to exist within an archaic box, and these two musicians fit the bill.